Splash!

Shout out to the engineers by the way.
They’ve been steadily working on the mechanical side of this project since the day Sabino was hauled out. I’ll try to make sure that they get more of the blog lovin that they deserve. Here’s just one of the many things that they’ve been up to: the hotwell.

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The hotwell is one step in the steam’s circular journey from water to steam to condensation back into water. We all know that water is heated in the boiler and turned to steam, and that this steam then enters the engine and drives the pistons. Once the steam leaves the engine, though, we don’t just vent it and say goodbye. We send it through a pipe that runs along the outside of the boat below the waterline. The sea water cools the steam and it condenses back into water. An air pump then pulls this cooled (but still quite hot) up from the condenser pipe and into the hotwell, where it’s ready to be drawn back into the boiler for another go-round. Here’s a nice explanation of the whole process in greater detail for those of you that are interested. And now, on to the move outside.

The first step was to clear out everything around the boat in preparation for Tom Brownell’s crew to come in and build a trailer.

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The trailer is built in place, starting with massive, wheeled I-beams.

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These run fore-aft.

Large cross-beams are brought in and placed athwartships.

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These cross-beams are bolted to the undersides of the wheeled beams. New cribbing is set on the cross beams to support the keel, and hydraulics in the wheeled beams raise the whole affair up. Poppets bolted to the sides of the wheeled beams keep her from tipping when raised.

The tractor trailer attaches to this whole assembly, and she drives out, easy as pie.

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She’s driven out to the lift dock, set down on keel blocks again, and once the sides are supported by poppets the trailer can be disassembled and driven away.

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Now that she’s on the lift dock, the engineers get the condenser loop laid out and installed. The pipe travels from one side of the boat to the other, and makes the turn just forward of the prop. The U-shaped pipe sits in an indentation just below the prop shaft.

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Everything propped up for fastening.

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The turn is now completed. You can see how the bend in the pipes match the hull shape.

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The paint shop gets to work with bottom paint as soon as possible.

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There are lots of details to attend to. Zincs and installing the strainer covers over the water inlets on the stuffing box have been installed.

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Once the condenser pipes have been installed and tested, it’s time to attach the beautiful, refinished prop.

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Truly a thing of beauty.

Up on the rub rail, Walt and Trev got busy installing the new galvanized metal strip that runs on the outside of the rub rail.

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Sean has been scarfing in new bottoms to posts suffering from rot and mold.

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He’s also been repairing and reinstalling bulkhead seats up on the foredeck.

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And at last, she’s ready to lower into the river!

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Considering that she’s been out of the water and drying out for the past two years, she was remarkably tight. A few small leaks, but we expect them to settle down as she swells back up.